I spent the weekend hanging out in Central Oregon. We left early Saturday morning and made our way out to Bend, OR. The plan was to spend the night there and then make an early morning trip down to Crater Lake National Park. I hadn't managed a trip to Crater yet, and the summer is quickly ending. So, off we went on a very, very long weekend of driving.
Since a three hour drive is clearly too long without a break, we stopped off at Mirror Lake. The beautiful lake is crystal clear and, at times, reflect Mount Hood perfectly. It's a relatively short round trip hike (about 3 miles) to go to the lake from the highway, walk around and get back out to your car. We've passed it a bunch on Bend drives, but it is also a very busy trail head with minimal parking. Since we started so early, we were some of the only people there.
Once we'd gotten back in the car, we finished the drive out to Bend. We were hungry and ready for a break, so we started our Bend Ale Trail maps at 10 Barrel Brewery. It was awesome! We sampled a bunch of beer, ate a bunch of very heavy food and enjoyed the patio. Which meant that we needed to walk off the food. Hiking it is.
We went to Lava Lands for some hiking and education (I love all the signage they have around with explanations of how different rock formations were made). We were there a little late, so we didn't have a ton of time. We opted to do the Trail of the Molten Lands plus a little extra wandering. It gave us a nice picture of the area and helped us plan for future ventures in the area.
Soon, it was time for dinner. Which meant more beer. We hit up Crux Fermentation Project this time to get another check on our maps. I had a delicious beer, but can't remember which one it was.
Tired, we headed back to the hotel to allow ourselves to rest up for Crater Lake. I'll write up that part of the trip tomorrow. (DONE! The Crater Lake post is here.)